all images courtesy of Pacifico Silano
How did you choose the name of the show?
After Silence is inspired by the adopted Act Up slogan, Silence = Death. [The Silence=Death Project, most known for their iconic political poster, was the work of a six-person collective in New York City: Avram Finkelstein, Brian Howard, Oliver Johnston, Charles Kreloff, Chris Lione, and Jorge Soccarás] I wanted an interesting way to reference that and it somehow felt right.
As I am working with tear sheets and found images, I like looking at the past through the lens of today.
Yes, you often work with tear sheets how does that play with emotional quality of the work?
I am always discussing some type of queer melancholy in my work. The tear sheets make me think of not only the images, but also who was the intended audience. I think of that man looking at that porn in that era.
What do you want people to know about the show?
It’s a visual exploration through emotional and physical loss. Then again, as it’s photography, the audience can imbue their own ideas onto the work.
If there is a soundtrack to After Silence, what would need to be on it?
Ummm… I’m thinking of a Connie Francis song because of the melancholy tone masked under a cheerful veneer.
No, maybe Lana del Rey’s Honeymoon because it has a slow burn. There are more layers that reveal themselves as you listen.
Do you long to live in the mid-to-late 80s?
Not at all. I think living through the Regan presidency had to be a special kind of hell. Thankfully, I was too young to remember any of it. The 1970s I could definitely get into. Jack Pierson once said at a talk that most generations want to live in the era that they just missed out on. I find that to have some truth to it.
When I was thinking about After Silence, I was thinking about the individuals that are missing because of the A.I.D.S. epidemic and also about the missing audience and creators of culture and art.
Yes, I think about my uncle that died and all of the countless lgbtq role models that we lost. There is an entire generation just completely wiped away. I have a hard time moving on from that. I think about what a privilege it is that my creative peers and I will get the chance to become mentors.
Another thing that brought to mind when viewing your work is about just missing the moment or accidently finding a moment. Jeff Burton always seems to capture that proxy to porn and I think the both of you have something in common.
Thank you. There are always moments of just missing something or someone in my work. This is also why I like found images. I get to decide what I reveal to the viewer.
I have a wild relationship to porn. My parents ran a porn store and they kept it during my teen years and even while they were divorcing. That was the family business and I photographed that time for my undergraduate thesis.
How many tattoos do you have?
I honestly don’t know. I’ve lost count, but I do know that the largest is my Tom of Finland leg sleeve. It goes from my ankle to my ass cheek and it includes 14 dicks.